GRCC planning virtual Commencement to safely honor and celebrate graduates, families

July 1, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A virtual Commencement ceremony is the best way to honor and celebrate Grand Rapids Community College students and their success while allowing as many people as possible to safely participate, college leaders said.

The live, virtual Commencement will take place 3 p.m. on Aug 1.

GRCC's first-ever drive-through GRADfest, where students will be saluted and can obtain everything they need to make the virtual commencement special, runs 3-7 p.m. on July 7.

 “The coronavirus crisis has challenged us to rethink how we can best serve our students,” said Tina Hoxie, associate provost and dean of Student Affairs.

“We’re extremely proud of our graduates. They worked hard on their studies and also to overcome obstacles no one could have envisioned. While this isn’t the Commencement ceremony we expected, we will make sure this year’s event is just as meaningful to our graduates and their families and recognizes their accomplishments.”

Students participating in GRADfest will be able to drive along Lyon Street NE through the Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza, pulling up to stations where GRCC faculty and staff will assist them.

At GRADfest, students will:

  1. Receive a “grad kit” that includes their cap and Class of 2020 tassel, exclusive GRCC alumni gifts, and more.
  2. Receive a free, commemorative “Stole of Appreciation” from GRCC Alumni Relations. In this GRCC tradition, students present the sole to someone who has helped the student succeed in their educational journey.
  3. Pick up cords saluting students for their military service or participation in the Early/Middle College program.
  4. Pick up a Phi Theta Kappa key medallion, if they are society members.
  5. Students who plan to participate in the virtual Commencement and GRADfest event must register in advance here. Students who cannot attend GRADfest but still plan on participating in the virtual Commencement, must still register.

For additional information on commencement, please visit the commencement webpage.

Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college -- and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.

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